I have posted my loving version of the birth story here shortly after it happened. But I know “Birth Week” on HDYDI is more about sharing the nitty-gritty for you moms-of-twins-to-be who want to know “what’s it really like”. Here is what is was really like for Cynthia, Aaron & Brady:
First, a little background. When my singleton was born she arrived very quickly and unexpectedly at 33 weeks. I had not prepared for this possibility and delivered her at our local hospital – without a NICU. Subsequently, she was taken immediately from me, stabilized and transferred 50 minutes away. The doctors said I had an incompetent cervix which led to me having a very quick and relatively painless labor. So by the time I got the idea into my head that perhaps I should get myself to the hospital, I was pretty far along and very active; they couldn’t stop me.
Having gone through that kind of heart-wrenching experience, I vowed to be much more prepared this time. I was determined that there would be no surprises; no circumstance I had not considered. I researched, I read, I spoke with other MOTs and played out every scenario in my head. I prepared for the worst case and then…was pleasantly surprised with how it all went down.
I had my regular weekly appointment with Dr. M scheduled for 2:15 on Friday the 13th. Earlier in the week I had said the boys would be born on this lucky day but as the time for the appointment approached – and I still felt fine – I gave up on that theory. My internal exam showed that I was slightly further along than I was the previous visit. Meaning, I had gone from about 1 cm to 1.5 (or so) cm and was now almost 90% effaced. He gave me the option to go home and see how I felt for a while, or go directly to the hospital and be monitored. At 34 weeks – and after 6 weeks of bedrest – I was getting anxious and decided to go down to L&D for some monitoring.
When my husband and I arrived at the hospital about 35 minutes later (no time to go home and get my carefully packed bag with our CAMERA!), I was checked in without any delay and immediately examined. The resident’s face shows a little surprise and she says “You’re more like 2-3 cm. Welcome!” As Emomily said in her post, all I could think was I’ve waited for this moment – now I’m not ready!
I am asked if I am planning a vaginal or C-section delivery. As the babies were mono-di, I had decided ahead of time that if they were presenting anything but Vertex-Vertex, I’d get the C-Section. However, when they presented Vertex-Transverse, I balked. Did I really want major surgery? I’ve never had a “real” surgery before. why would a choose to go through that. OMG, someone…TELL ME WHAT TO DO! My husband gently reminded me that the only thing I’ve truly wanted to avoid this whole time was a one of each type of delivery, so I consent to the C-Section. And I start telling anyone who will listen that I am TERRIFIED. Thankfully, they take me seriously and put on the kids gloves to deal with me from that point on.
The attending arrives and examines me. His announcement is “we’re having babies tonight!” I am now more like 5 cm dilated. BTW – have a mentioned I still don’t feel any contractions? Good thing I didn’t go home to wait it out, I’d still be waiting for a signal to make me call the doctor….
Into the room we go. The spinal is put in with relative ease. Thank God I didn’t faint which is what I was sure was going to happen. Next thing I know I see hubby coming into the room and they tell me we’re going to start. They ask me if I can “feel that” and I can! Oh no! STOP! But I guess whatever I felt was high enough up on my torso that they decide to proceed because before I even know they’ve started, I hear a cry. WHAT? ALREADY? Aaron Denis emerges screaming his lungs out. Where was all the pressure I was supposed to feel? The tugging? What is going on down there…and…
Here comes the other one! 6:36 and out comes Brady Roy. Except, no cries this time. I start to panic. After an eternity (or 30 seconds) I hear a little cry. Whew. Turns out, his cord was wrapped twice around his little neck and it needed to be untangled.
And just like that, it’s over. But where are the babies? I heard people talking about them. Isn’t everything okay? You said they looked good, can I see them? They both needed to be taken immediately to the NICU so the best that they could do for me was to wheel them by me in their incubator. They slowed down, but didn’t stop. If I hadn’t mentally prepared for that possibility, I would have been devastated. Thankfully, I knew it was a real possibility and I made myself okay with it. I prepared to heal myself so I could get to them as soon as possible.
Daddy accompanied the babies to the NICU and I set about getting settled in my new room. Fortunately the combination of shock, delirium and good drugs got me through the night pain-free. At some point during the night the nurses came in to stand me up. No one thought to put a pad on me and I was greeted with a nice rush of blood down my legs and all over the floor. Whoops. Of course the sight of that had me whoozy, but otherwise the night was uneventful. I slept for approximately 7 consecutive minutes while I was anxiously awaiting the first meeting with the boys which would take place the next day.
The next day was when the trouble began. There was mix-up with my pain meds and I was undermedicated for a great portion of the day. So that upset me. I was only physically able to get myself down to the NICU one time that day. So that upset me. There was entirely too many visitors in and out of the room and I was an emotional wreck. The nurses offered me a sleeping pill for that night – which I gulped down and the day after that, things began to look up.
Healing was slow and staying on top of the pain was key. On the day I was discharged, I swelled up like a balloon and was very uncomfortable. Apparently there isn’t much you can do for that except drink a lot and try to pee it all out. The Vicodin gave me flash headaches so after my first night at home, I stuck with just Tylenol.
The boys started nursing on Day 3 and really got it by Day 7. They were released on Day 14. Thankfully we had been through the NICU experience before with our firstborn so we were prepared for what to expect. Aaron had the CPAP to start and was then under the lights for jaundice. Brady had two apnea spells on Day 3 and hospital policy dictated he couldn’t leave until he went 10 days without one; he had no other issues.
They are happy and healthy now, 25th percentile for actual age. As for me, I am pregnant again and hoping for a VBAC this time. All said and done, I’m glad I had the C-Section for the boys but the recovery WAS hard. Especially with other children at home. I’m glad I had lined up help and, honestly, I’m glad the boys stayed a little bit longer because I needed the time to heal.